Friday, January 22, 2016

Angie

My favorite sitcom these days is Brooklyn Nine-Nine.  Now there's a new comedy, Angie Tribeca, that's also about cops and robbers.  How will it compare?

Not particularly well (to break the suspense).  I've only seen the first two episodes--ten are available On Demand--but I think I get the idea.  Whereas Brooklyn Nine-Nine is wacky, Angie Tribeca is silly.  Brooklyn, for all its gags, has consistent characters with plots that matter.  Angie Tribeca is anything for a laugh.

The show emulates Police Squad!, then, with a bit of Sledge Hammer! thrown in (though it doesn't have an exclamation point).  The danger of such a show is that, since it's impossible to take anything seriously, it lives or dies on its jokes.  And while some of them are funny, I think it need a higher percentage of hits.

The show is created by Steve Carrell and his wife Nancy Walls Carrell.  The lead is Rashida Jones, last seen in Parks And Recreation (where she played it relatively straight).  She's Angie Tribeca, veteran of the LAPD.  Her partner, Jay Geils, is played by Hayes MacArthur   (In the pilot the final gags had him plummeting to his death in an elevator shaft, but it turned out he survived.  Would have been cooler if they killed him off).  Her boss is Lieutenant Chet Atkins, played by Jere Burns (of Dear John).  Deon Cole plays office mate DJ Tanner.  The characters have certain characteristics, but mostly serve as vessels for the jokes--bizarre sight gags, puns and lots of reduction ad absurdum.

The show also features lots of guest shots.  The pilot had, for instance, Lisa Kudrow and Gary Cole.  The second episode had James Franco and Adam Scott.  (I guess Steve Carrell knows a lot of people.)  And Alfred Molina seems to have a recurring role as Dr. Edelweiss, a forensic pathologist who pretends to be disabled.  These characters add a certain amount of fun to the proceedings, but the writing is still more important.

Overall, the episodes go by painlessly.  I may check out the rest when there's nothing else to watch, but I won't binge watch them.

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